Did you know that there are 27 different types of STIs? That’s a startling amount. All STIs can be prevented by using contraception, so please practice safe sex at all times. In this article, we’re going to discuss an STI called Trichomoniasis.
What is Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is an STI caused by a single-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
You may not know that you have the disease because it doesn’t always show symptoms; however, it still requires treatment, if not, it increases your chances of contracting and spreading other STIs such as HIV.
Trichomoniasis is typically transferred by penis to vagina contact, but it can also be spread by vagina-to-vagina contact. The vulva, cervix, vagina or urethra is most likely where the infection occurs.
According to an article published by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women with trichomoniasis may notice:
- Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals;
- Discomfort with urination;
- A change in their vaginal discharge (i.e., thin discharge or increased volume) that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish with an unusual fishy smell.
- Having trichomoniasis can make it feel unpleasant to have sex. Without treatment, the infection can last for months or even years.
Risk factors and complications
The world-renowned Mayo Clinic explains that risks of contracting the infection are increased by having:
- Multiple sexual partners
- A history of other sexually transmitted infections
- A previous episode of trichomoniasis
- Having sex without a condom
Are you pregnant? Trichomoniasis can cause numerous complications which include
- Your baby having a low birth weight
- Your baby may need to be delivered prematurely which can cause developmental and health issues
- Although rare, it’s also possible for the infection to be transmitted to the baby as he/she travels through the birth canal
Trichomoniasis is treated by taking antibiotic medications (usually metronidazole and tinidazole.) Your doctor will either tell you to take the medication in one big dose or smaller doses. As with all antibiotics, you must take the full dose even if you start to feel better before the recommended time has elapsed.
It’s possible to contract the infection again, even after treatment. It’s been documented that approximately 20% of women get trichomoniasis within three months after taking the medication.
As mentioned above, the infection can increase your risks of spreading or getting other STIs, including HIV, which can lead to AIDS. It’s suggested that if you are HIV-positive, you should be tested for trichomoniasis annually.
Marie Stopes can help you
Should you have an unintended pregnancy and wish to terminate, we also provide a safe abortion service that will be performed by a medical professional in an easily accessible, safe and sterile clinic.
Please schedule an appointment at your nearest centre for more information about our services.